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Boston Early Music Festival
CONTACT:161 First Street, Suite 202
Cambridge, MA 02142
DESCRIPTION:Often in the benefit sector, program excellence and influence do not guarantee institutional success. Since its founding in 1981, the Boston Early Music Festival (BEMF) has had to struggle for viability, heroically and with high competence, because its field, however valuable to our civilization, is not "popular."
"Early music" is the attempt to rediscover classical music as its composers intended it, and original audiences heard it, rather than as modern instruments and orchestras, created for bigger sounds in large concert halls, have interpreted it. In the last 50 years, early music has been the most dynamic and fastest-growing part of classical music. Most people who have heard both early and modern renditions prefer the authentic original over its modern exaggerations.
BEMF has been the institutional leader of the early music movement in North America, presenting every other June since 1981 what quickly became the world's leading celebration and trade-show of early music, in which artists, scholars, instrument-makers, the interested public, and youth, come here from five continents to learn of the latest accomplishments in the field. Between Festivals, BEMF presents superb concerts of the world's leading early music artists. The New York Times has credited BEMF with advancing early music from a counter-cultural phenomenon into the mainstream of classical music.
(1997: CULTURE: Arts: Performing: Music and Dance)
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